Category: "Cityscapes"

Morning in Barcelona

June 17th, 2012

A full seven hours of sleep last night, which bodes well for overcoming jet lag. If I can stay awake at least until 9:00 p.m. tonight, then I will be in very good shape indeed.

Started the morning with the most incredible shower. No water regulators on this baby. I practically drowned in the downpour, wanted to build an ark. Martin Luther once wrote that a good glass of beer is one of life's chief joys, but if he had been born in the age of modern plumbing, he would have said that a hot shower on a cold morning is life's chief joy. The morning is not particularly cold here, but the AC in my room is spectacularly effective. Had to turn the damn thing off in the middle of the night, so a cold morning it was for me indeed.

After showering I shaved without cutting myself, for which I was grateful: don't want to bleed on the chorizo at the breakfast buffet. Nothing turns off tourists like other people's blood on their breakfasts.

BTW, right across from the commode in my restroom is this interesting device:

I remember my high school Spanish teacher once saying that the first time he saw one of these, he washed his socks in it. I'm much more sophisticated than Mr Wilson was, and I immediately recognized it as a convenient water fountain. Very nice to have one of these in your room, even if you do have to get down on your hands and knees to get a decent mouthful.

My first gustatory goal this morning was to go to the breakfast buffet and eat until I couldn't move. My first plate

consisted of (from upper left, going clockwise):

  • Navy beans in tomato sauce — ho-hum.
  • The softest scrambled eggs you can possibly imagine
  • A crescent of goat cheese — ¡Maravilloso!
  • Tortilla española, essentially a potato and egg pie — ¡Sabroso!
  • Bacon — proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy
  • Brie — very good
  • A couple of sausages, also very good

Time for seconds:

  • Jamón dulce — generic ham, as in ham and cheese sandwiches in the US
  • Jamón ibérico — famous Catalonian ham, nice taste, shaved super thin
  • Sausage San Chinchón, or something like that
  • Spanish version of chorizo — tasty
  • Spinach quiche
  • Cheese, I think it was a type of parmesan, not quite sure why they put the raisin on top
  • Hash brown — boring, I just thought I'd try it in case they had done something interesting inside
  • Potatoes — almost au gratin but minus the milk products

Time for thirds:

  • Chocolate popover
  • Red grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Salmon
  • Honeydew melon
  • Cucumbers
  • Green peppers
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Tomato

and I suppose I shouldn't forget the uninteresting mixed fruit beverage, and the bottled water and coffee which are not visible.

The buffet is in «Visual», the panoramic restaurant on the 23rd floor of the hotel. The view between my servings was excellent.

Immediately to my left is the Parc de l'Espanya Industrial, which I'll have to explore later. Then here is another shot of the same area with more of a cityscape:

Immediately to the right of that is the main bus/train station:

The trains are underground. This is actually the back side of the station, which is called Barceló Sants. When I arrived yesterday I unintentionally walked out the back, which was a blessing because that is the quickest way to my hotel. Thanks, Lord! The shadow you see is the shadow of my hotel. And here is a bit more of a cityscape:

Now that I've managed to eat until I can't move, it's time to get myself moving. I'll try to down towards the harbor, then to Plaça Catalunya and Las Ramblas, although on Sunday that will probably be uninteresting.

A walk around town

July 2nd, 2012

In that shot I was aiming for the framing of the golden cupola, plus the interesting curves of the pergola.

The following shots are from the exterior of the the Sts. Peter & Paul Church, which is quite atypical for a Russian Orthodox church in that the decoration is fairly baroque.